Many questioned the selection when Skylar Thompson was taken in the 7th round of the 2022 NFL Draft - not because the player wasn’t any good (he had his share of success at Kansas State) - but because Miami had such little draft capital and wasn’t really in need of another quarterback after signing veteran, Teddy Bridgewater, to backup incumbent starter, Tua Tagovailoa.
However, reports out of practice have been mostly positive for Thompson, and with Tua and Teddy sitting out Miami’s first preseason contest against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, it was the Skyler Show for the entire game - and the rookie made the most of his opportunity.
Thompson looked solid against the - mostly - Buccaneer backups. He finished the contest with 218 yards passing and a touchdown. He also contributed with a couple of solid gains on the ground. Most importantly, he did not turn the ball over a single time.
Miami may have a tough decision with Thompson come cut-down day. Ideally they’d place the QB on the practice squad and protect him from being poached for as long as they can, but they risk exposing him to waivers if they attempt that move. If Thompson keeps playing the way he played Saturday night for the rest of the preseason, the Dolphins may have to find a way to keep Skylar on the 53 man roster.
Miami’s cornerback depth is shaky - at best
The Dolphins pass defense was without starting cornerbacks Byron Jones (injury) and Xavien Howard (rest) against Tampa. It was time for some of the younger cornerbacks to step up. Well, that didn’t happen.
Noah Igbinoghene gave up his share of big plays. D’Angelo Ross was getting lit up over and over. Elijah Hamilton didn’t fair well either. Trill Williams looked decent - until he got hurt.
All in all, without Miami’s starters, it was a rough night for the pass defense. This will be a situation to monitor as we approach the regular season. Miami may need to look at veteran free agents to fill the gap behind Jones and Howard.
Dishonorable Mention - Miami’s rushing offense
24 yards on 13 carries by Miami’s running backs certainly needs to be called-out here. For an offense that is predicated on running the ball well, this will certainly need to be cleaned up as we approach the regular season. Having Terron Armstead and Connor Williams on the offensive line should help, however.
Trill Williams suffers, what is feared to be, a serious injury
The most important thing to root for during preseason games is the health of all of the players. Miami has been pretty lucky in that regard this offseason, but on Saturday, that luck changed towards the end of the game.
Trill Williams - Miami’s top backup cornerback according to training camp reports - suffered a leg injury with just 1:52 remaining in the game. The injury appeared to be serious, as he was seen in tears as he was leaving the field. He would later be carted to the locker-room.
If Williams is to miss significant time, as it appears he will, Miami will need to look elsewhere around the league for his replacement, as the rest of their cornerback depth has been subpar, and that’s putting it mildly.
How do you feel about Miami’s performance against the Buccaneers on Saturday? Which unit looked the strongest? Which unit needs the most work? Let me know in the comments below or on Twitter at @MBrave13! Fins up!